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Local residents should influence better bus services through new powers for locally elected representatives, argues NLGN Senior Researcher James MacGregor.
Firstly, the pamphlet argues that rigorous local consultations and decisions could replace the top-down national approvals process on contracts and partnerships. In future, bus plans should be exposed to public consultation through the Local Strategic Partnership – shifting the balance of power very firmly towards locally elected representatives and local partners.
Secondly, the pamphlet argues that public subsidies could be more effective if routed through the Local Area Agreement process in order to guarantee that all partners in the policy process, both local and national, are signed up to the strategy being pursued.
NLGN Senior Researcher James MacGregor said:
“There is still too much national control over local bus arrangements, which is not only superflous but also preventing the rigour and scrutiny needed to drive forward improved services. If local residents and partners had a greater say over the routing and frequency of bus services, we believe improvements in quality could come quicker, without jeopardising the legitimate strategic objectives of national Government.”